Business Week is reporting plans by many social networking sites to open up their network to content developers, in an effort to grow their user base.
[Facebook], MySpace.com, LinkedIn, Friendster, and Google’s orkut are expected to…open their code to third-party developers this year as wellâ€”promising to kick off a spurt of innovation in social networking.
Virgin Mobile is among the many company’s licking their chops, at the thought of tapping into these mega-networks. Having access to an API (application program interfaces), many companies will be able to launch mashups and tools that will satisfy the growing needs of many social network members, as well as helping the networks grow their existing user numbers.
After social network Friendster opened up its proprietary software to a select dozen or so developers six months ago, the number of unique visitors rose by 17.6%, to 18.8 million, in December, 2006. “This is our biggest [month-over-month] growth since launch,” says Jeff Roberto, marketing director at Friendster. Now, for example, Friendster users can create slide shows of photos on Slide.com and then post them directly onto the social-networking site.
Nearly 18% growth from just a handful of developers? Imagine the growth when the API is available to anyone that cares to use it?